When you’re pregnant, there are so many things you have to remember; taking prenatal vitamins, which foods you can and can’t eat, making doctors appointments and not to forget, finding clothes to fit your new and changing body shape.
The last thing you want to do is go out and buy clothes which you’ll only wear for a few months. Honestly, before you rush out to buy something, stop and think about what you already have in your wardrobe.
It’s all about choosing items which will be the most flattering and that are comfortable. Try to go for loose fabrics like cotton or linen – for their breathability, or fabrics like jersey and Lycra for their great stretching properties.
Layering is always a good idea too, because that way if you get too warm (which often happens – trust me!) then you can just remove one or two layers to cool down. You can usually still wear jackets (obviously without zipping/buttoning them up) and the cut will often provide a slightly slimming effect.
If you do decide to buy a few things, rather than getting your normal size, I’d recommend going up one or two sizes to accommodate your growing bump. Also, if you are buying anything then it’s also worth thinking about whether you can wear it after baby is born. Think shirts or dresses with buttons and loose tops.
Read on for 10 ways you can avoid buying many maternity clothes but still look stylish. Plus, keep scrolling for some extra bonus tips.
Shirt dresses and T-shirt dresses
Shirt and cotton t-shirt dresses were definitely my favourite go to, so easy to put on but still made me feel a little stylish.
Try wearing loose fitting shirt dresses with a high waisted belt to show off your beautiful bump (they will work great for breastfeeding too after baby is born). Or what about a T-shirt dress made out of a comfy jersey fabric? And if you’re having a winter baby then maybe you could try a jumper dress with leggings?
Don’t forget that with your growing bump, items of clothing will be a lot shorter so I always found that it was a good idea to wear something like leggings or stretchy cycling shorts underneath for that bit of extra coverage.
Who would’ve thought you’d be thankful for the cycling shorts trend?! 😉
Go for comfortable stretch leggings a size or two up with a pretty flowing top, a button down shirt or a loose tee. Or how about an open flannel shirt over a cotton cami and some leggings?
For the earlier stages in your pregnancy, a button extender will let you wear your favourite pair of jeans for that little bit longer.
You can buy one here or they are quite simple to make yourself. If you’re not feeling crafty then try looping a hair tie or an elastic band around the button and through the hole and back around the button to give you that extra inch or two.
During your pregnancy, another option is to wear a belly band. It’s a stretchy piece of fabric (made from a mixture of nylon and spandex), about 12 inches wide. You just slip it on over your unbuttoned jeans and it’ll hold everything in place. The band can also be folded in half and used beneath your bump instead.
It comes in several different colours, along with a silicone strip to stop it from slipping or rolling down.
If you’re not keen on buying one, then a beautiful mess has a great tutorial to DIY your own.
Try a flowy boho dress with a loose silhouette. Add a belt above your bump, or skip the belt as the months go by. Top with a blazer and some chunky jewellery for a more sophisticated evening look.
What about an elasticated skirt made of loose material which you could wear either above your bump or below your bump (with a longer top)? Or you could transform a long skirt into a tube dress and add a belt to give the dress some shape around the waist.
‘A’ line silhouette
Any tops with an ‘A’ style silhouette which won’t restrict your growing bump are also a great choice, pair with either leggings or jeans with a button extender or a Bellaband.
Avoid anything made from a fitted fabric with no stretch
It’s best to avoid fitted material, anything with no give will become uncomfortable over time. Always try and go for something that either has plenty of space for you to grow into or that will grow with you. Something made out of a stretch jersey fabric is perfect.
Wear loose fitting shoes or sandals WITHOUT laces
Another problem that I came across was that as I neared my due date, my feet had swollen up slightly and so I found that my favourite, most comfy pair of trainers were too snug to wear. Go for either flip flops or sandals (weather permitting). If it’s too cold where you are then try slip on shoes. I would advise against wearing anything with laces, especially later on in your pregnancy!
Use a bra extender
During pregnancy, your bust size will change drastically. To avoid buying new bras (for a little while anyway), just use a bra extender or if you have an old bra that you’re going to get rid of then you can just make your own by taking the two sets of clips from the back and sewing them together.
If you feel like you’re struggling to find clothes that you already own then there are some other options.
Buy second hand
Thrift stores and garage sales are also a great place to find pre-loved maternity clothes. Or maybe you have some friends or family members who have maternity clothes which they no longer want or need.
DIY What you already have
Have you thought of altering some of the clothes you already have? You could add some elastic or a bit of extra material to make them into perfect maternity clothes.
To add extra side panels to your jeans, try this tutorial from a beautiful mess.
To add extra fabric to your top, try this tutorial from Merrick’s Art
To add ruching to the side of a top, try this tutorial from Made Everyday
Spare fabric lying around the house?…Use it to make something simple but stylish
DIY maternity circle skirt tutorial from Cotton and Curls
DIY maternity wrap dress tutorial from A Beautiful Mess
And remember…you won’t be wearing maternity clothes forever…
After your baby is born, if there are any maternity specific clothes that you don’t think you’ll wear again, a great way to get a bit of a return on anything is to sell them on eBay. People tend to sell items as a bulk buy, so if you have a few things to get rid of then you can post them all at once.
Just remember, if you’re planning on breastfeeding then anything with button access is worth holding onto at least for a little while.
Try out different styles to see what suits you best. Baby bumps are all unique, so what might suit one person might not flatter someone else. It’s all about trial and error.
So if you do find out you’re expecting and you are trying to save a little, before you rush out to buy a whole new wardrobe of maternity clothes, keep in mind a few of these tips to save yourself some cash.